Find below a selection of delicious chestnut recipes. Autumn and winter are the seasons to enjoy this fruit. If you have never tried chestnuts before, keep in mind that they are a delicious food, but only sweet chestnuts of the Castanea sativa species are edible.
In ancient times many peoples considered chestnuts to be “a ready bread”. They contain saponins which gives the tart taste. Chestnuts cannot be consumed raw but there are numerous ways to include them in your menu. When cooking or roasting chestnuts, some of the starch is transformed to sugars and they have a sweet, sweet taste and aroma.
Those who are interested in culinary highly appreciate chestnuts as they are easily included into soups, they can be roasted, pureed, included in cookie dough, etc. Chestnuts are great as poultry stuffing, garnish for roast meat, cakes and other sweets. They can be used for candy filling as well. Perhaps the most famous chestnut recipe is for marron glaces – glazed chestnuts which are widely popular in France, Spain and Italy.
What do you need to know about the nutritional properties of chestnuts?
Chestnuts are rich in valuable nutrients, supply vitamins and minerals. They contain less fat than nuts.
Due to the fact that they are rich in fiber, chestnuts are beneficial to the digestive system. The fiber retains water and gives a feeling of satiety.
They also regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber speeds up the digestive process by helping to reduce constipation and regulate bowel activity.
Unlike most nuts, chestnuts are rich in complex carbohydrates. 120 grams of chestnuts contain 45 grams of carbohydrates. Our body needs carbohydrates. They are very important for the function of the nervous system and give energy to the body. Those who are interested in diet and nutrition know that chestnuts contain complex carbohydrates which are absorbed slower and give energy for a longer time.
As we already mentioned, chestnuts are rich in vitamins and trace minerals. They contain vitamin B6 as well as folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin.
Vitamin C is beneficial to the blood vessels and muscles and protects the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. It also helps the absorption and storage of iron. Trace minerals are equally important for the normal functioning of our organism. Copper helps form red blood cells. Trace minerals also support the health of the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones. The high content of manganese reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. Manganese is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and is also involved in the production of connective tissue.
Chestnut recipes and ideas for delicious meals
Raw chestnuts do not have a pronounced taste and aroma. Their taste is quite neutral and they can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. You can easily prepare salads, appetizers, soups, and main dishes as well as sweets.
How to choose chestnuts? When buying chestnuts, make sure that you choose the ones that are round, firm and without damages on the shell. Chestnuts contain a lot of water, which means that they cannot be stored for too long. After 4-5 days they become dry and soft. If you tap a chestnut with your finger and its shell deforms, it means that it is old. Hollow chestnuts are old and of poor quality. Keep the chestnuts at home in a cool, dry place for no more than 4-5 days. Do not store them in plastic bags as they may mold.
Roast chestnuts recipe
1 kg/2¼lb Fresh chestnuts (in the shell)
Heat the oven to 200C/400F.
Using a small, sharp knife, carefully cut a small “X” shape into each nut. Place the chestnuts on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking pan.
Roast for 40-45 minutes until the skins open and the insides are tender. While in the oven, the “X” cut will widened and peel back. Shake the pan slightly halfway through roasting in order to move the chestnuts around the pan.
Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 5-7 minutes.
Peel the tough outer skin and the pithy white inner skin and serve.
Chestnut recipes – Salad with carrots and figs
2 oz/60 gr lamb lettuce (Valerianella)
2 oz/60 gr cooked chestnut
3 medium carrots
4 fresh figs
½ cup pistachios, chopped
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
The juice of the ½ pomegranate
1 tablespoon olive oil, for roasting
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven at 180C/350F.
Wash and peel the carrots and chop them into big chunks.
Toss the carrots into some olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.
Roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes until they are soft.
Squeeze the pomegranate with your hands onto a bowl until the juice come out.
Mix the pomegranate juice with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Slice the figs in 4 pieces and chop the chestnuts in bite size pieces.
Once the carrots are cooked place them into a salad bowl and add the lamb lettuce, sliced figs and chopped chestnuts.
Season with the dressing and serve.
Chestnut recipes – Salad with Brussel sprouts
17 oz/500 g Brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
7 oz/200 g chestnuts (cooked and vacuum-packed)
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Clean the Brussels sprouts, rinse, cut crosswise and cook until for 8-10 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the Brussels sprouts with chestnuts about 5 minutes on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the apple juice, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard and oil. Stir in the shallot and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts with the dressing.
Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds.
Roasted Chestnut Soup with Mushrooms
3 cups roasted, peeled chestnuts, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
10 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cups heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh mushrooms (porcini, black trumpet, or chanterelle)
Chop chestnuts and set aside.
In a pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
Add thyme and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken stock, heavy cream, and 2 1/2 cups chopped chestnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
While soup is simmering, sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter over high heat, until slightly crispy but still tender, 8-10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the soup, reserving some for garnishing, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Pour soup into bowls.
Garnish with the remaining chestnuts and mushrooms.
Sautéed Chestnuts, Onions, and Bacon
1/2 pound/225 g sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into strips
1 pound/450 g pearl onions
1 pound/450 g peeled, roasted chestnuts
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Fill a bowl with ice and water and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the onions and blanch for 30 seconds. Scoop them out and place them into the ice water. Peel the onions and set aside.
Raise the heat under the skillet to medium, and sauté the onions in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chestnuts, cooked bacon, and honey and toss.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the parsley.
Sausage and Chestnut Dressing
12 ounces/340g French bread loaf, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
8 ounces/220g turkey t sausage
1 cup whole roasted chestnuts, quartered
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
Arrange bread in a single layer on a large pan. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp. Remove pan from oven and cool bread cubes.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F/190°C.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes and add the sausage. Cook for 5 minutes or until sausage is done, stirring to crumble Add in chestnuts and remove pan from heat
Combine stock, 1/4 cup parsley, thyme, pepper, salt, and eggs in a large bowl. Add bread to stock mixture and toss to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in sausage mixture. Transfer into a glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375°F/190°C for 35 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Remove pan from oven; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.
No-Bake Chestnut Trifle
For the biscuit layer:
5.3 ounces/150g) Graham biscuits
1/4 cup (50g) unsalted butter, melted
For the mascarpone layer:
5.3 ounces (150g) mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup (15 cl) heavy cream, whipped
2 Tablespoons (30g) sugar
For the chestnut layer:
5.3 ounces (150g) whole chestnuts, crumbled
6 teaspoons chestnut puree
For the chestnut mousse:
7 ounces (200g) chestnut puree
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
Whole chestnuts, to decorate
In a food processor, pulse biscuits until entirely crumbled. Add melted butter, stir well, and divide into 6 to 8 glasses (depending on their size.)
Whip up /3 cup heavy cream. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Divide into the glasses.
Add a few spoonful chestnut puree in each glass, then crumble whole chestnut in a thin layer.
Whip up 1/3 cup heavy cream, then gently fold in the chestnut spread. Transfer into a piping bag, then pipe over each glass, finishing up with a whole chestnut.
Keep refrigerated until serving.
Chestnut Chocolate Mousse
4oz (100g) dark chocolate
4oz (100g) milk chocolate
½ cup sweetened chestnut puree or spread
2 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Melt both the chocolates together in a large bowl.
Once the chocolate is melted, add the chestnut puree and fold it in with a spatula. Add the yolks and stir them in.
Place the whites in a separate mixing bowl with the salt.
Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in another large bowl.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and then beat the cream to medium peaks.
Take half the cream and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining cream and fold it gently into the mixture. Finally, add all the egg whites and continue folding until everything is incorporated.
Divide the mousse into six glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Serve with extra whipped cream.